Two Interesting Articles from Advertising Age

Advertising Age has a couple of interesting articles today:

Ad Age Digital

User-Generated Video Gets Its Own TV Channel

According to this article, Fame TV is a new channel dedicated entirely to consumer-generated videos, airing on the BskyB satellite network in the UK and Ireland. Users can upload their videos for a $3 fee -there’s also a deal with Revver for content- and these will be aired using an innovative format: nine boxes will be on the screen at all times, each one showing a different video. Each box has a code so that viewers can vote via SMS for their favorite show. In the case of Revver videos, Revver will pay a percentage of the SMS revenues to each video creator.

I’m assuming that videos getting lots of SMS votes, will be aired more often to create even more revenue. Judging from the success of shows like “America’s Funniest Videos,” the success of the idea seems guaranteed. It’ll make for a great time-waster and sure beats channel surfing.

It will initially lack advertising, though a good idea would be to run advertising in the center box (an even better idea would be to user-generated advertising, a la CurrentTV’s V-CAM (Viewer Created Ad Messages)).

Locally, this would be a great idea for networks to fill an hour or two of late night infomercial infested air time.

and the other article is:

Ad Age Media Works
Why TV Needs Commercial Ratings — Now

CBS‘ Chief Research Officer, David F. Poltrack, explains in great detail why it’d be smart for the television networks to measure ratings by the number of people watching commercials instead of the number of people watching the shows.

While this may sound counterintuitive at first, he gives a detailed explanation oh what’s happening with DVRs. Viewers are increasingly using DVRs to watch TV shows at their convenience. As I’ve previously mentioned here, network competition is moot when you can record both competing shows and watch them both at a later time.

When viewers have a DVR, more of them watch the shows after the fact than live. And about 40% of these viewers actually watch the commercials. Well, according to Poltrack, these eyeballs are not being counted, since the current system relies on live viewings (because advertisers automatically assume that DVR owners will fast-forward through their expensive commercials).

With the proper measuring system in place, viewers who watch the ads will be accounted for, while those who skip them won’t. Sounds fair to me, but go read the whole article… recommended.

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  • One aspect that isn’t clear about the Fame TV channel is how they’re going to handle audio. I’m guessing they’ll be muting the videos and adding some kind of general audio track (thus avoiding possible copyright issues with songs used on videos), but I think many of these videos will lose a lot without the audio portion.

    Unless their satellite system (and user remotes) allow for this many individual audio tracks to be sent to the user and provide a usable interface to select them.

  • One aspect that isn’t clear about the Fame TV channel is how they’re going to handle audio. I’m guessing they’ll be muting the videos and adding some kind of general audio track (thus avoiding possible copyright issues with songs used on videos), but I think many of these videos will lose a lot without the audio portion.

    Unless their satellite system (and user remotes) allow for this many individual audio tracks to be sent to the user and provide a usable interface to select them.